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LinuxWorld: Why Sun really bought Cobalt

Sep 30, 2000, 15:27 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

"Sun Microsystems's recent purchase of Cobalt Networks tells me that somebody at Sun has his or her head screwed on right."

"...now that Sun has Cobalt, it doesn't matter whether Intel catches up. If Intel has trouble matching Sun's hardware performance, Sun will have built up Linux credibility -- based on its Cobalt acquisition -- and it could start selling its next-generation UltraSparc servers running Linux instead of Solaris. Sun would keep its high margins, while endorsing the most popular platform."

"And if Intel-compatible hardware takes over, the Cobalt purchase gives Sun instant credibility in that market, too. ...Cobalt's machines aren't all based on Intel-compatible chips. But Linux is the psychological link that will give Sun what it needs. Cobalt hardware runs Linux, and people tend to equate Linux with Intel. So any Linux credibility that Sun attains will automatically make it an appealing supplier of Intel hardware."

"And the best news of all for Sun: regardless of how the hardware picture develops, by purchasing Cobalt, Sun has implicitly endorsed Linux and put yet another nail in Windows 2000's coffin. This helps Sun eliminate the only threat that it can't fight directly."

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